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Forms of Things Unknown - Cross Purposes

Cross Purposes is a mCD lasting only 30 or so minute but it sure covers a lot of territory with musical versatility. Cross Purposes is the debut release from the peculiarly titled Forms of Things Unknown, a solo-project from peculiarly titled multi-instrumentalist Ferrara Brain Pan. Brain Pan appears to be a veteran of the San Francisco music scene having recorded with Boyd Rice on the unreleased 'The Priceless Recording' during the seventies, recording in some goth outfit Bad Alchemy, appearing uncredited on Faust's Rien, and being a member of the dark ambient duo Darmstadt Pharmacy.

Cross Purposes takes elements from all of these myriad influences and adds a number of woodwind and folk instruments to Christian Devotional songs, Howard Devoto covers and some original electronic and organic compositions. The first track,'Black Candles & Pentagrams 'n Shit', is a shimmering piece of ambient brilliance offset by sinister bass clarinet and creepy percussion. It's followed by 'Mariam Matrem' a sombre Spanish medieval composition initially performed on flute, and then with operatic vocals from Shannon Wolfe. The final track in this eclectic collection is a cover version of Luxuria's 'Stupid Blood', penned by Howard Devoto, over some serious flute and brass arrangements.

Cross Purposes is an interesting mix of styles that despite its fanciful efforts works particularly well; the sinister drone of the opener is well worth hearing. The brief appearance of Babs Santini (aka Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton) may help put Cross Purposes in perspective. Overall an interesting release that should be pursued by the more adventurous. For more information go to